10 destinations for hitchhiking in india: a hippie’s guide

“Great ideas come to you mostly when you are not busy doing great things in your life.”

 

India is a country in Asia that borders PakistanChinaNepalBhutanMyanmar and Bangladesh.

India is a land of diverse cultures, faiths, languages and people. For all practical purposes though, English is widely understood throughout the country. However, throughout the northern regions Hindi is also widely spoken apart from the regional languages.

Hitchhiking in India can be an incredible experience, although travelling in India is pretty much cheap across the entire country. Hitchhiking would perhaps be one of the best ways to move around the diverse, enormous and beautiful country. There are number of destinations which are best discovered by hitchhiking.

 

However, hitchhiking is possible. The Academy of Free Travel organized an expedition in India in 1998 where nine participants hitchhiked the entire length of the country north to south. There is a growing Indian hitchhiking community, and the rise of the car-owning middle class means that hitchhiking from cities to popular excursion sites is increasingly simple.

 

However, hitchhiking also comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. While it is highly unlikely to get a lift from a private vehicle, it is the truck drivers who would welcome you on-board of their trucks. The truck drivers tend to make you comfortable and would also make you have a meal with them.

 

The condition of road surfaces, driving habits, vehicles and driver profiles varies greatly from region to region even in the same state. Sikh drivers are generally friendly and can be generally trusted – hospitality is part of their religion after all. Although hitchhiking is allowed as in it is not illegal, it is not something which is common, except in the western states. A ride may be sometimes difficult to get as some local hitchhikers actually turn out to be robbers and dacoits who flag down vehicles and loot them.

 

India is a country filled with villages, the villages are pretty welcoming and the innocent villagers would offer you a yummy meal and also a place to spend the night in their homes. If you happen to be in the mountainous terrains, the army posts tend be the saviours. One can get to know a lot of people, starting from the dhaba owners to the villagers.

At last, never misuse the hospitality which is offered. Well, we bring to you some hitchhiking road trips that you could take across India. Let’s begin!

 

 

  1. Uttarakhand

 

The Horcrux of Mahabharat is safely Hidden in this Himalayan Village

At Rishikesh, With Live Free Hostel and The Nomads of The World

 

  1. Arunachal Pradesh

 

Worshipping the Nature; Nyokum Yullo, A Tribal Festival of Arunachal Pradesh

Flaunting the Tryst With Nature; A Tribal Fashion Fiesta in Arunachal Pradesh

 

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Island hopping Guide

 

Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Into the Blue Waters

An Encounter with the Tribesmen of Andaman

Havelock – The Beauty of Andaman and Nicobar

An Underwater Journey in the Havelock Island

 

 

 

 

  1. Manali To Spiti

Yet again, it is the same road which takes you to Leh, but one requires to take a diversion at Gramphu on the Manali-Leh Highway.

It is one of the shortest routes to reach Spiti Valley, and it is also tends to be below altitude. You will have to prepare yourself for AMS and the ride can be dizzy if pushed.

The road witnesses lesser landslides than the other routes leading to Spiti, especially the route via Kinnaur Valley. This road is well taken by both public and private vehicles, which makes it all the more easier to find a ride.

 

  1. Srinagar to Leh

Another incredible way to reach Leh is the Srinagar-Leh highway. It is a journey which takes you across the beautiful Himalayan landscape.

With several towns in between, you will have a thrilling journey, this route does not offer regular public transport and grabbing a lift is one of the best ways to reach Leh.

As one enters the Kashmir Valley, the energy levels would rise and one will not be able to make many stops. If you are a non-vegetarian, the Dhabas here serve the most tasty meals and at cheap rates too.

 

  1. Itanagar To Ziro

A distance of about 110 km, this would be the easiest hitchhiking trips out of the lot. However, to secure a ride, one needs to start really early when all the trucks prepare themselves to leave Itanagar towards Ziro.

Make sure you have the Inner Line Permit ready, as you would be reaching the state borders and checking is quite frequent across the route.

One of the best things about the trip is the road and high-mountain curves. Hold tight, as the truck drivers would take you through 90-degree turns here.

 

7.    Leh to Nubra

The Leh to Nubra Valley road is best enjoyed if you are riding your own vehicle. However, if you choose to hitchhike, the options can also get pretty limiting. The best thing, however, is that you will have to make several stops and breaks and each one of them would be worth it! The total distance would be about 150 kilometers and you would be passing some of the most awed landscapes on planet earth! This journey will take you through the Khardung La Pass, arguably the highest motorable road in the world.

You will be able to see the Shyok River meeting the Nubra River and creating magic. Every scene from this trip would be a postcard-perfect moment that will be remembered for a lifetime. What makes this trip the most special one is watching the arid landscape of Leh gradually change into a valley of greenery and flowers. It’s no less than a blessing!

Best time of the year to hitchhike: After mid-May and before October. This is also when this road will be open for vehicles.

Route Map: The most preferred route will be Leh – Phyang – Khardung La – Khardung – Khalsar – Diskit – Hunder – Sumur – Panamik – Nubra

8. Mumbai to Goa

Back to the plains, this is one of the most decorated and talked about road trip you should be making with your friends. Popularized by the movie Dil Chahta Hai, the Mumbai to Goa highway is fun, giving and a lot of memories. Getting a lift is easy. However, you might have to change hosts a couple of time. Most vehicles starting on this highway will directly go to Goa. You would, however, want to make the necessary stops. After all, how can you miss the roadside dhabas and the several cafes that make this trip exciting!

Start early and you should be able to cover the 609 kilometres route in a couple of days. Even if it takes more, it’s okay. There are several budget hotels and dhabas you can spend the night in. Once you have reached Goa, awash off all the tiredness!

Best time of the year to hitchhike: Winter months, between November and February

Route Map: Mumbai – Pimpri – Pune – Satara – Karad – Chikodi – Belagavi – Goa

9. Jodhpur to Jaisalmer

The land of the Rajputs, this would be a trip that you will have a lot of fun and make a lot of good friends in. The food around here is awesome and something that every traveler should experience. It’s a distance of about 290 kilometres that can be easily covered within a span of two days. Make sure you halt somewhere cheap and delicious at night – the dhabas of course. Just put your bed outside and go to sleep by staring at the stars. A couple of beers will go perfectly with the royal but the cheap food served!

 

10. Chandigarh to Manali

Himachal Pradesh has been voted as the safest state for solo travelers, be it hitchhiking or riding your own vehicle. To add to the glory is a landscape that anyone would fall in love with beautiful people, beautiful valleys, the Himalayas looming over and a fine essence in the breeze. For a traveler, there couldn’t be a better sight before the eyes. You will be making several friends on the way and even though the breeze has a chill, it would be the warmest welcome ever!

This is a popularly taken route to reach Manali and getting a ride won’t be too much of a problem. Apart from the lines of trucks, you would be able to try your luck with the several private cars that take the road. there are several tours you can enjoy in Kullu Manali to make your journey an unforgettable experience.

Best time of the year to hitchhike: Apart from the monsoon months, any time of the year would be great to take this road.

Route Map: Chandigarh – Hoshiyarpur – Kurali – Rupnagar – Kiratpur Sahib – Kaula – Mandi – Kau – Kullu – Manali

We hope this road trip will keep you busy for your journeys for a couple of years now! Exploring India through hitchhiking is one of the best ways to understand its culture, soak in its landscape and be one with the land. Go and get there. It there is a will, there will always be away!

 

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